Music
  1. Student Experience
  2. Graduate Destinations
  3. Research
  4. Blog
  5. Events
  6. Music Analysis Conference 2018
Music

Sophie Ransby

PhD student

Centre for Music Studies

Title of thesis: An Investigation into the Emergence of Notation in Surakarta, Central Java, and its Implications for the Transmission of Gamelan Music as an Oral Tradition

Supervisors: Professor Steve Stanton and David Hughes

Overview and research interests

Sophie's thesis explores the emergence of notation systems in Surakarta and their impact on gamelan music as an oral tradition. Through long periods of study in Java and fieldwork to interview local musicians and teachers from formal and non-formal educational backgrounds, Sophie's research analyses the modern notation systems in Java today and their role in performance practice and pedagogy. Gamelan notation has developed from a tool for merely documenting the music to that of a descriptive and prescriptive device and teaching aid. This research therefore, takes a qualitative approach to investigating how the modern use of notation affects the traditional aesthetic values of Karawitan music and performance.

  • Central Javanese Karawitan

Sophie Graduated from City University London with a BMus (Hons) in 1999 and completed an MA in Composition in 2000. She was awarded a Darmasiswa Scholarship to study gamelan music at the Jurusan Karawitan, Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (STSI) in Surakarta, Java in August 2000.

Seminar presentations

  • May 2011: Exploring Concepts of Rasa in Central Javanese Gamelan Music. City University London, London (18/05/11).
  • March 2010: Interpreting Javanese Gamelan Notation: Garap and the Gender Barung. City University London, London (31/03/10).
  • March 2009: Rasa and Notation in Central Javanese Gamelan Music. City University London, London (25/03/09).
  • March 2007: Music Education in Central Java: Teaching Methods, Notation-based Learning and the Transmission of Non-Standard Garap in ISI, Surakarta. City University London, London (07/03/07).
  • October 2006: The Role of Notation and its Impact on the Aesthetics of Gamelan Performance and Musical Creativity in Surakarta, Central Java. Universitåt für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Graz, Austria (28/10/06).
  • January 2006: The Impact of Gamelan Notation on Javanese Musical Aesthetics and Creativity. City University London, London (18/01/06).
  • March 2005: The Modern Role of Karawitan Notation in Surakarta, Central Java. City University London, London (23/03/05).
  • July 2004: An Investigation into the Function of Notation in Surakarta, Central Java, and its Implications for the Transmission of Gamelan Music as an Oral Tradition. City University London, London (01/07/04).

Publications

  • Clark, Sophie: 'Sekaten Festival' in Seleh Notes, The UK Gamelan Magazine, Volume 11 No. 1 (London, The UK Gamelan Network, November 2003) ISSN 1476-4512, pp.7-10.
  • Clark, Sophie: 'The Role of Notation and its Impact on the Aesthetics of Gamelan Performance and Musical Creativity in Surakarta, Central Java' in Virtual Gamelan Graz. Rules - Grammars - Modeling (Graz Studies in Ethnomusicology Vol. 22, Series Editor: Gerd Grupe, Shaker Verlag, Aachen 2008), ISSN 978-3-8322-7637-9, pp.59-85.

Teaching

Sophie currently works as gamelan advisor at Southbank Centre and is a freelance gamelan tutor at Southbank LSO St' Lukes, RNCM and The Sage Gateshead.

Performance videos and broadcasts